Intricately patterned wild silk kiras from Lhuentse hang alongside rough nettle fiber cloth from Zhemgang in Bhutan’s excellent Royal Textile Academy. The museum, housed in an impressive modern building, celebrates the country’s vibrant and varied tradition of hand weaving. From the towering applique thangka that overlooks the entrance hall and the sumptuous garments on display in the Royal Gallery to mannequins dressed in simple herders’ clothing from Laya, the museum offers an unparalleled chance to learn about and appreciate this unique aspect of Bhutanese culture.
To see the fascinating and complex work that goes into making one of these pieces, visit the adjacent weaving center, where you can watch as the weaver’s fingers fly to and fro, recreating beautiful patterns from memory. A wide range of fabrics are available to purchase in the museum shop, with many of the items on sale produced in the academy itself.